Saturday, August 18, 2012

New Arrivals: Photography

Iwao Yamawaki 
Hardcover in a slip-case

"This is the first monograph illustrating the fascinating visual experiments of a very talented photographer of the Bauhaus era. Iwao Yamawaki is an interesting figure at the intersection of modernism and the history of Japanese photography. He began his career as an architect but became dissatisfied with Japanese practices. For that reason he travelled to Germany in 1930, where he enrolled as a student of the Bauhaus in Dessau. He started studying architecture at the Bauhaus, but soon moved on to the photography section where he produced architecture photography, portraits, still-lifes and photomontages. The photographic methods of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Walter Peterhans had a big influence on him. Yamawaki continuously analysed the relationship between photography and the design of spaces, and he often tried to interpret the connection between human beings and architectural space in his pictures."


Signs of Life: Photographs by Peter Sekaer

"Peter Sekaer (1901-50) emerged as an artist in the company of Ben Shahn, Berenice Abbott, and Walker Evans. This book intends to show how he stepped from their benign shadows to build his own distinctive style. It is the first monograph to show the full range of his accomplishments. Sekaer's early work combines dispassionate images with others that show his concern and intuitive grasp of the human condition. Many of his most memorable photographs were made while fulfilling mundane assignments for various government agencies. Sekaer had none of the reformer's passion found in the works of Jacob Riis or Lewis Hine. His stance was more that of the artist/anthropologist, who delighted in recording the artifacts and gestures that defined American society in the 1930s."


Road to Reno by Inge Morath

"Inge Morath’s first trip across the United States followed a red grease-pencil line drawn by her traveling companion, Henri Cartier-Bresson, from New York through Gettysburg, Memphis, and Albuquerque to Reno. In 1960, the two were among 18 photojournalists commissioned by Magnum to document the Nevada set of Arthur Miller’s film The Misfits. The destination was a momentous one for Morath, both for her remarkable photographs on location as well as her initial encounter with Miller, whom she later married after his divorce from Marilyn Monroe. But it is Morath’s documentation of the 18 days in traveling to the set, collected here in both photographs and written entries, that in its casualness as a travel diary begins to unfold her carefully observed, insightful, and compassionate approach to reportage.
The noises of men die slowly but as our car rolls over the continental division we know that the waters we will drink from now on will belong to rivers that in their turn belong to the Pacific and not anymore to our grey Atlantic and the noises of animals have taken over.
Traveling westward, Morath combines a foreigner’s awe of alien terrain with the curiosity and banality of small town life, offering glimpses into rather than encapsulations of her experience at each stop. As a journal, this series of images and text allows an insight into Morath’s photojournalistic style that is difficult to parse in her portraiture, for which she is best known. This is the first publication of Morath’s work to include her writing alongside her photographs."


Encounters with the Dani by Susan Meiselas

"In her Encounters with the Dani, acclaimed photographer Susan Meiselas pieces together verbal and visual traces of encounters with the Dani, an indigenous people of the West Papuan highlands, from the nearly six decades that follow their “discovery” by the West. In this subjective, fragmentary history, she draws from the experiences of missionaries, colonists, anthropologists, and modern-day ecotourists, all of whom have come to the Baliem Valley and transformed the conditions under which the Dani live.
The ambiguous relations between power and representation — whether in the form of Dutch colonial patrol notes from the 1930s, the sensationalized media accounts of the survivors of a downed U.S. army plane in “Shangri-La” from the 1940s, or a tourist’s snapshots from the 1990s — become visible in Meiselas’s book, through both the contradictions and unexpected continuities in the material brought together. "

Chauncey Hare: Protest Photographs

"Chauncey Hare made highly detailed photographs of the interiors of working-class homes and workplaces across America in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This new book contains twice as many moving, disturbing and often surprising photographs as have appeared in his two earlier books, Interior America (1977) and This Was Corporate America (1984).
Hare’s fast-paced introduction to the book highlights his life of protest, a life filled with unbelievable coincidences, learning, and pain. He describes his strong identification with the people whose homes he photographs and his adamant unwillingness to betray them by selling their photographs at any price. He tells of his struggles to have his photographs, accompanied by explanatory text, accepted by the art world. He relates the abusive situations he has endured in his childhood, and in his work life as an engineer at a major oil company and at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency."


Mexican Suitcase: The Rediscovered Spanish Civil War Negatives of Capa, Chim, & Taro 
2 Volumes: The Films & The History; slipcased in a cardboard suitcase

"Sometimes, even in the world of photography, miracles happen. On 19 December 2007, three battered commonplace cardboard boxes arrived at the International Center of Photography in New York. Within these boxes- the so-called Mexican Suitcase - was a treasure trove of photographic history believed lost since World War II: the legendary Spanish Civil War negatives of Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and David Seymour (known as “Chim”). The Mexican Suitcase contained 126 rolls of film, mostly shot between May 1936 and spring 1939, that are an inestimable record of innovative war photography and of a definitive episode in Spanish history. The photographs include Capa's images of the Battle of Rio Serge, Chim's famous image of a woman nursing a baby at a land reform meeting in Estremadura, and Taro's last photos at the Battle of Brunete where she was killed in 1937.
The story of the Mexican Suitcase itself is as fascinating as the photographs contained. Carried by Capa's studio manager from Paris to Bordeaux by bicycle in 1939, it came into the possession of General Francisco Aguilar González, the Mexican ambassador to the Vichy government in 1941-42, and found its way to Mexico City. Decades later the suitcase was discovered among González's belongongs and in 2007 was given to ICP, founded by Robert Capa's brother Cornell Capa and home of the Capa and Taro archives as well as a large Chim collection.
In 1979, Cornell Capa had implored the public to come forward with information about the Mexican Suitcase which he spent years looking for: "Anyone who has information regarding the suitcase should contact me and will be blessed in advance." This landmark two-volume publication, which accompanies a major exhibition at ICP and reproduces all 4,500 negatives from the suitcase, embodies the blessing Capa spoke of and presents the miraculous contents of the suitcase to the public for the first time."

Toward a Deeper Understanding: Paul Strand at Work

"In the late 1940’s, Paul Strand spoke of creating “a series of photographs that focused on the history, architecture, environs and people of a small town (which) would reveal ‘the common denominator of all humanity’ and would be a bridge toward a deeper understanding between countries.” This book presents a rigorously edited selection of these photographs made in France, Italy and New England between the years 1943 and 1953.
Strand identified and explored the myriad variations of some central themes: the primal connection between humans and the natural world, the beauty of simple objects and structures, and the inherent dignity of every individual regardless of wealth or social status. Strand’s photographs encourage the viewer to look closely and observe how details and formal relations emerge."


Heinz Hajek-Halke: Artist, Anarchist

"Heinz Hajek-Halke is one of the undiscovered geniuses of early twentieth century experimental photography. He surmounted the purely documentary nature of photography in the turbulent 1920s and developed a variety of aesthetically challenging photo-manipulation techniques which he applied to both personal and commissioned advertising work.
His techniques were the innovative forerunner of digital photography and web design.
This large-format monograph is the first extensive review of Hajek-Halke’s work, encompassing all the creative phases of his career - his nude photography, photo-montages, picture stories, macro-biological images and the abstract Lichtgrafiken (light graphics) of his later work. It contains reproductions of his vintage prints and an abundance of other material, including photo collages, magazine advertisements, dust jackets for books, and graphic designs."


Lead Belly: A Life in Pictures

"Here is a treasure trove of rare unpublished family and other photographs, news clippings, concert programs, personal correspondence (including letters from Woody Guthrie), record albums, awards and other memorabilia, some only recently discovered in a basement trunk in New York where Lead Belly’s wife kept everything all these years neatly tucked away. There was even the cherished bottle of Chanel No. 5 that Lead Belly had brought her back from Paris. "My wife is half my life; my guitar is the other half" said Lead Belly."

Like a Thief's Dream, Danny Lyon

James Ray Renton—thief, counterfeiter, and bank robber—became one of America’s Ten Most Wanted Men when he was charged with murdering a young Arkansas policeman in 1976. After a daring escape from the Tucker Maximum Security Unit in the 1980s, Renton made the FBI’s Fifteen Most Wanted List before eventually being recaptured. Then, while in solitary confinement, Renton wrote a 60-page account of his escape and adventures, sent in a series of letters to Danny Lyon, a close friend of Renton’s since they had met in the Texas prison system in 1967.
After Renton’s death in 1995, Lyon visited the Arkansas town where Renton had been convicted. Following an incredible paper trail left behind by the crime and 1978 trial (in which Lyon had testified), Lyon located Dinker Cassel, who was sentenced to life along with Renton for the murder. Like a Thief’s Dream is Lyon’s gripping story of two men—one alive, the other dead—and an unparalleled portrayal of prison life in the 1980s and 1990s. A tale of murder and betrayal, romance and robbery, Like a Thief’s Dream is Lyon’s first work of non-fiction in text form, a work of realism based almost entirely on documents including police and FBA records, prison and police mug shots, tape recordings made by the FBI and the author, Renton’s own written account of his escape, letters from other prisoners to the author and to each other, and photographs made by Lyon and anonymous police photographers."

These books, and thousands of others, can be purchased from:

Brickbat Books
709 South Fourth Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

215 592 1207

Tuesday: thru Saturday, 11am to 7pm
Sunday: 11am to 6pm
Closed Monday

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